If you go
What: Tracy Lawrence and Rick Huckaby
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Where: Clay Center
Tickets: $20 to $50
Info:www.theclaycenter.org or 304-561-3570
FYI: The concert is a benefit for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Charleston and Parkersburg
Rick Huckaby's Friday night concert at the Clay Center accomplishes three things.
The country singer gets to return to the state where he spent his formative years. He gets to play with his good friend, Tracy Lawrence, for whom Huckaby has written 10 songs and counting.
And together, the singers get to support a cause important to them - Boys and Girls Clubs.
"This is something special we're doing for West Virginia," Huckaby said. "I had been approached by some friends of mine to do this, and we've been trying to get Tracy involved. He was obviously the linchpin, and I'm so glad it finally came together."
Huckaby, who was Lawrence's guitarist for five years until he launched his own solo career, said the two don't get to see each other as often as they would like, let alone perform together.
"We had a chance to sit down and write last week and have lunch," he said. "We don't get to see each other as much as we'd like. He's touring, doing 100 dates a year. I do almost that many."
Huckaby was born in Louisiana but moved to Huntington as a boy when his dad, the late Rick Huckabay, took a job as Marshall University's basketball coach. It was there that Huckaby developed his musical interests.
"That is the Mecca of my fan base," he said. "I really love to go back there and play."
The Huckabay name is famously mispronounced - it's "bee" and not "bay" - so Huckaby made the professional decision to change the spelling.